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Making Money Matter: Financing America's Schools
control: bureaucracy, markets, and ''clans" or self-governing communities of interest and value (Ouchi, 1980). Bureaucracy, which is appropriate when the quality of performance is not transparent and when potential conflicts of interest are present, has been the preferred method for managing superior-subordinate relationships in light of stakeholder interests and values. And, as noted earlier, the organization of school systems has become increasingly bureaucratic over the years as interest and values have become more complex and as more and more layers of control have been added.
While bureaucracy can be a force to promote fairness and quality, it also can interfere with the efforts to improve educational productivity in a number of ways. Bureaucratization can whittle away discretion and autonomy at the school level (Chubb and Moe, 1990; Hill et al., 1997; Brandl, 1998). Policy makers increasingly act to reduce the discretion permitted at the school level. They do this (1) to reduce compliance problems that can result from school personnel who may or may not be inclined to act in accordance with policies determined at higher levels of the system; (2) to reduce the possibilities of other actors in this system of multiple authorities using the existence of discretion left in local hands to impose their own (possibly competing) interests; and (3) to insulate their decisions from change by future policy makers. Bureaucrats have incentives to expand their budgets, programmatic authority, and administrative controls; and so their increasing presence, too, serves to reduce the discretion and autonomy left to school personnel. Teachers unionize to gain influence in an environment increasingly characterized by powerful, organized interests outside the school; collective bargaining results in detailed contracts that further formalize public education and reduce or eliminate managerial discretion.
Bureaucratization can also draw administrators away from duties concerned with instruction. As the environment within which schools operate becomes more complex, key aspects of education become institutionalized. Administrators become increasingly involved in complying with the decisions made at higher levels about teachers, students, and curriculum and spend less time providing instructional leadership (Meyer and Rowan, 1978; Rowan, 1981).
Bureaucratization can constrain teachers in their efforts to teach as well (Chubb and Moe, 1990:58–59). Regulations "produce bureaucratic rather than professorial controls over the content and structure of the work . . . [These] controls [are] aimed at standardizing procedures rather than building knowledge that can be applied differently, depending on the given needs of the child." While teaching requires a great deal of flexibility and creativity, such controls often "place teachers in the unprofessional position of having to treat diverse students uniformly" (Darling-Hammond and Cobb, 1996:20). Thus, bureaucratization encourages depersonalized and standardized instruction and keeps pedagogical strategies simple and routing as possible (Darling-Hammond, 1996).
Bureaucratization can also lead to a lack of accountability for education outcomes. Because educational bureaucracy is not closely related to the work of